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Health Problems of the Homeless

Despite considerable technological progress in the contemporary world, homeless people have remained a vulnerable part of society. Their lifestyle conceives many risks to health, while national resources and services to secure their existence are not enough. It is necessary to run surveys and detect frequent street life consequences to provide an effective assistance. This essay will examine common dangers to homeless people’s health and provide statistical information that reveals threats’ prevalence.

Mental Disorders and Suicide Tendency

Most homeless people live in unsafe places and do not receive appropriate treatment, which results in the proliferation of severe mental illness which also affects suicidal rates. According to Lee et al. (2017), about 26.2% of people experiencing homelessness have serious mental health problems, and about 17% of homeless adults reported suicidal ideation. It is necessary to refer to statistical data to create a full image of the extent to which persons deprived of their homes suffer from disorders. Based on the survey, Pedersen (2018) claims that 38.7% were screened as PTSD positive, and 47.4% of respondents showed a positive depression screen. The obtained data demonstrate that mental disorders severely affect almost half of the homeless, cause damaged health, and even lead to incidences of suicide.

Drugs and Alcohol Addictions

Drugs and alcohol abuse causes significant harm to the health of people who are not even related to the category of homeless. To overcome the difficulties of life on the street, individuals use alcohol and drugs, which only deteriorate the situation. Lee et al. (2017) state that “about 26% of people experiencing homelessness also have drug abuse problems, which is much higher than in the general population” (p. 238). According to Pedersen et al. (2018), 30.1% of respondents in his survey passed the substance use disorder screen positively, while 38.8% confessed to using other drugs. The mentioned statistical data indicate the severe danger to homeless people’s health.


Despite their status in society, the homeless’ health problems have been widely debated, as they remain humans and worth close attention and care. They are more vulnerable to mental disorders, drug, and alcohol abuse than others, and this tendency results in health problems and increased suicide rates. To summarize the prevalence of threats, about half of the homeless has a mental illness or addiction. For that reason, society should provide necessary help to anyone in need.


Lee, K. H., Jun, J. S., Kim, Y. J., Roh, S., Moon, S. S., Bukonda, N., & Hines, L. (2017). Mental health, substance abuse, and suicide among homeless adults. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 14(4), 229-242. Web.

Pedersen, E. R., Tucker, J. S., Klein, D. J., & Parast, L. (2018). Perceived need and receipt of behavioral health services at drop‐in centers among homeless youth. Health Services Research, 53(6), 4609-4628. Web.

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StudyKraken. "Health Problems of the Homeless." August 30, 2022.


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